Where to stay in Sapa in Northern Vietnam depends on what kind of trip you want. If it’s your first time in Sapa and you’re mixing things up – doing a hike, a Bac Ha market day trip, textile shopping, and savouring local fare – stay in Sapa town in a hotel or bed and breakfast. If your focus is trekking, consider an eco-lodge overlooking the rice terraces or a rustic homestay in a village.
When it comes to where to stay in Sapa, the bustling former French hill station near the Chinese border in Northern Vietnam, our priority is always centrally located accommodation with breathtaking valley or mountain views, preferably from our private balcony. We love to stay near Sapa’s main square, colonial-era church, and heart of Sapa for the lively atmosphere and fantastic local food.
While mountain views are still possible from many hotels in Sapa, getting the gob-smacking panoramic vistas of the past has become increasingly challenging in recent years with the development of enormous new hotels, such as Sofitel’s Hotel de la Coupole M Gallery – which is why you need to get to Sapa soon and when you’re there these are the things to do in Sapa.
For those who enjoy some pampering, it’s worth noting that as Sapa was established as a French hill station – a cool retreat from the heat – almost every hotel has ‘spa’ in its name and a wellness centre of some sort, whether it’s a professional operation with massage rooms and a full menu of treatments and therapies, or simply a sauna and hot tub. Do your research before booking.
Where to Stay in Sapa from Eco-Lodges With Views to Village Homestays on the Rice Terraces
Our picks of where to stay in Sapa include everything from village home-stays and eco-lodges to luxury hotels.
A tip: as the Hanoi to Lao Cai overnight sleeper train gets in early (5.30am/6am), and, unless you’re heading direct to Bac Ha market, your transfer will get to Sapa an hour or so later (depending on how quickly you get away and how many times you stop for photos), when you book your Sapa hotel send a note requesting a high-floor room with views and the earliest available room. If your room isn’t ready, simply store your luggage and head out for breakfast.
Where to Stay in Sapa – Luxury Hotels in Sapa
These luxury hotels are where to stay in Sapa for maximum comfort and misty mountain views.
Hotel de la Coupole M Gallery by Sofitel
Sapa had never seen anything like the magnificent Hotel de la Coupole M Gallery by Sofitel when it opened in December 2018 and will undoubtedly never see any accommodation so majestic and so sumptuous built in Sapa again.
Designed by the inimitable Bill Bensley, responsible for some of Southeast Asia’s most flamboyant luxury resorts, Hotel de la Coupole is where to stay in Sapa if you’re looking for a marvellous, magical place that’s very hard to leave.
Inspired by the old world glamour of the grand hotels of the 1920s and ’30s and evoking a nostalgia for a French Indochina that probably never existed, the breathtaking Hotel de la Coupole transports you into an enchanting world of glass observatories, domed ceilings and spiral staircases.
The plush rooms are painted in bold colours – we love the shade of mustard typical of the French colonial era – and feature balconies overlooking Sapa town, the mountains, valley and rice terraces, or the hotel’s pretty interior courtyard (choose carefully when you book). Rooms on the 8th and 9th floors have higher ceilings and views of misty Sapa or surrounding mountains.
An indoor heated swimming pool is illuminated by magenta chandeliers and surrounded by marble columns, bronze nude statues, and emerald-green velvet-covered poolside loungers.
If you’re exhausted after a day of trekking, Nuages Spa offers rejuvenating massages, body scrubs and body wraps using local products such as rice bran, black mulberry extracts, and Indigo, and the 30-minute relaxing herbal bath incorporates Red Dao healing herbs including botanicals from Mount Fansipan.
If you’re too tired to go anywhere, there’s a French patisserie called Cacao which serves steaming mugs of cocoa, decadent cakes and pastries, perfect macarons, and Marou chocolate, while the rooftop cocktail bar, Absinthe, offers the warmth of an open fireplace, sweeping views, and a happy hour from 3–5pm where you can savour the sunset with a glass of sparkling in hand. Book Hotel de la Coupole M Gallery by Sofitel with our booking partners.
BB Sapa Resort and Spa (formerly Victoria Sapa Resort and Spa)
Once Sapa’s only high-end hotel, the BB Sapa Resort and Spa, pictured above, feels like a European mountain chalet, with its roaring fireplace in the lobby, white granite features and plenty of polished timber.
The rooms are spacious yet cosy, with a window seat scattered with cushions featuring local textiles and quilts on the bed. The suites are beautiful, furnished with four poster Chinese-style beds with filmy mosquito nets and textile throws, and terraces with views over Sapa town.
Be careful when booking as not all rooms have mountain vistas; most look onto the central garden and then only from the public balcony, not the room itself. The Alpine lodge theme continues through to the bar with its stone walls and pool table. We enjoyed nightly games of pool before bed when we stayed.
The breakfast buffet is expansive, featuring Vietnamese and European dishes, with outstanding croissants and French-style pastries. Quiet mid-week outside holidays, it can get uncomfortably busy on a weekend, when we opted for noodle soup in town instead.
Bonus: a large, indoor, heated swimming pool and spa with hot tubs with views, which you’ll very much appreciate after a long hike. I certainly did!
There are stairs down to town that bring you out across for the church and main square and if you can’t face the hike back up (then you probably shouldn’t do a trek!) there are always a few taxis parked near the square. Hoang Dieu Street, Sapa, Vietnam. Book BB Sapa Resort & Spa with our booking partners.
Aliana Boutique Sapa Hotel and Spa (formerly Aira Boutique Sapa Hotel and Spa)
Located on the edge of a hillside overlooking the Muong Hoa valley, the Aliana Boutique Sapa Hotel and Spa is one of the most luxurious hotels in Sapa, if not the most central – it’s a 10-minute walk to the main square.
A yellow chalet-like exterior belies a rather stylish interior with a design marked by curves, geometric shapes and patterns, and bold splashes of colour. Easily one of the most comfortable of Sapa’s hotels, the Aliana has a sense of style not seen before in the traditional hill town.
Beautifully lit rooms have parquet floors, wood panelling, and striking images of women from different ethnic communities hang on the walls. In the public spaces there are plenty of comfy sitting areas with high backed seats.
The Vietnamese restaurant features two striking-looking round wood-burning fireplaces and there are more fire pits, along with sweeping valley views, at the rooftop bar. There’s also an alluring outdoor swimming pool. 30 Hoang Lien Street, Sapa, Vietnam Book Aliana Boutique Sapa Hotel & Spa with our booking partners.
Where to Stay in Sapa – Boutique Hotels in Sapa
The Hill Station Boutique Hotel
The closest thing Sapa has to a boutique hotel is The Hill Station Boutique Hotel in the heart of Sapa town. Despite the fact that with just three rooms above its superb Hill Station Signature restaurant, and no facilities to speak of, it isn’t actually a hotel, but is more of a bed and breakfast.
Nevertheless, it feels like one of those tiny boutique hotels you find in Munich, Zurich or Copenhagen, with its snug, light-filled, contemporary-styled rooms, decorated in a minimalist style with art on the walls and vintage touches with the retro wallpaper, glass lamps, and groovy purple rugs.
The rooms are comfy, with quality bedding, and they boast floor-to-ceiling mountain and valley vistas. There are bikes for hire, but Sapa is very hilly. Having the restaurant downstairs, which in our opinion is Sapa’s best, is a bonus. 37 Fansipan Street, Sapa, Vietnam Book The Hill Station Boutique Hotel with our booking partner.
Where to Stay in Sapa – Bed and Breakfasts in Sapa
Sapa Garden Bed and Breakfast
The family owned and operated Sapa Garden Bed and Breakfast is special – an array of beautiful, individually decorated rooms, some with balconies, in a handsome dusky-pink villa (once the family home) and a renovated four-storey extension.
With just four rooms and two family suites with two bedrooms each, the property is often booked out, so reserve ahead. There’s a cosy living area with fireplace, a quieter reading room, and there are luxuriant gardens with a gazebo, barbecue area, fish pond, and a friendly dog. Gardeners will enjoy staying in spring and summer when the grounds are in full bloom.
The home-cooked Vietnamese food and generous European-style breakfasts are a real highlight. The property is a 20-30 minute walk from Sapa although taxis are also available for around US$3 each way. 102 Dien Bien Phu Road, Sapa, Vietnam Book Sapa Garden Bed and Breakfast with our booking partners.
Where to Stay in Sapa – Mid-Range Hotels in Sapa
Most of Sapa’s hotels are mid-range and budget due to the town mainly attracting hikers and backpackers until recent years. These mid-range properties are where to stay if you want a little comfort, the convenience of a central location, good value, and good views.
Sapa Elegance Hotel
Centrally located, just a few minutes walk up the hill from Sapa’s main square and church, the 3-star Sapa Elegance Hotel is situated halfway up the road to the Victoria hotel and is a fine mid-range choice.
Typical of the Alpine chalet style that’s popular in Sapa, the hotel makes use of the local stone and rooms have small balconies with flower-filled window boxes. The renovated rooms won’t win any design awards but they are very spacious, clean and comfortable.
Book a room with balcony on the highest floor for sweeping town and mountain views. There’s also a public terrace with tables and chairs, which is a lovely spot to read a book on a sunny day. Breakfast in the snug room on the ground floor has been excellent whenever we’ve stayed.
3 Hoang Dieu Street, Sapa, Vietnam. Book Sapa Elegance Hotel with our booking partners.
Sapa Elite Hotel
Just a two minute-hike up past the Sapa Elegance Hotel, the Sapa Elite Hotel is another comfortable 3-star hotel offering a similar level of comfort and Alpine-style decor, and is your next best bet if you can’t get into Sapa Elegance.
The large light-filled rooms are furnished with timber furniture, big beds, and ethnic minority textiles and throws. As the hotel is built on the side of the hill, some of the rooms are actually below the road level and look onto other hotels.
Our tip: book a room on the top floor overlooking the town and mountains; the best room has a balcony with spectacular views of the main square and church. Buy a bottle of Dalat wine to sip here in the evening before you go out to dinner.
The reception staff can be very helpful with organising transfers, tours and guides if you don’t plan ahead, as well as booking restaurants. 12 Hoang Dieu, Sapa, Vietnam. Book Sapa Elite Hotel with our booking partners.
Sapa Legend Hotel and Spa
Feeling more like a city hotel than the chalet-like properties that comprise most of Sapa’s accommodations, the Sapa Legend Hotel and Spa is a rather grand looking property. The public spaces have polished marble floors, crystal chandeliers, and fresh flower arrangements.
The design is a bit of a mishmash, however, with contemporary, mid-century inspired chairs in the restaurant and some rooms, yet very strange sofas in the lobby that look like pool-side furniture.
The spacious rooms have polished timber floors, quality bedding, more of those cool-looking chairs from the restaurant, and private balconies. 1 Thu Dau Mot Street, Sapa, Vietnam. Book Sapa Legend Hotel & Spa with our booking partners
Where to Stay in Sapa – Eco-Lodges and Rustic Homestays
For those who don’t mind being out of town, this is where to stay for rustic accommodation overlooking the rice terraces, from a stylish mountain-top eco-lodge to more rustic homestays. Note that with homestays, some feel more like a European-style pensione while with others you really are staying in people’s homes. Rooms are often shared and the bed is little more than a mattress on the floor.
Beautifully designed, with one of the most spectacularly-sited infinity pools we’ve seen, overlooking a valley and rice terraces, the rustic-chic Topas Ecolodge is dramatically set on the top of a mountain in Hoang Lien National Park.
Twenty-five stylish bungalows, built from the local white granite stone from Hoang Lien Mountains, are scattered around a hilltop. Each bungalow has terracotta tiles and bare stone walls, comfy beds with mosquito nets, handmade wooden chairs, and verandas with breathtaking views of the mountain peaks and rice fields.
The main buildings, set across two traditional Tay stilt houses, moved piece by piece from their original site and reassembled at the lodge, are home to a restaurant serving Vietnamese food, a bar, and lounge with fireplace library.
While some guests come simply to relax (note that the spa offers traditional treatments, such as a Red Dao herbal bath), there are plenty of activities, including guided tours and treks, mountain biking, and cooking classes.
Some 95% of staff members are from local ethnic minorities and the eco-lodge prides itself on its sustainable practices that ensure a minimum impact on the local environment. The swimming pool is a saltwater pool and it’s heated.
The lodge is a 45-minute drive from Sapa, however, there are two free shuttle buses daily to Sapa, and the hotel can arrange transfers from Sapa and Hanoi. 18kms from Sapa in Hoang Lien National Park. Book Topas Eco-Lodge with our booking partners.
The Eco Palms House
The rustic Eco Palms House is probably the most idiosyncratic of all the quirky accommodation in and around Sapa and has one of the most breathtaking locations.
For those seeking privacy, there are bungalows made of mud, timber and brick with a thatched roof and veranda offering magic views of the rice fields and mountains.
They also have what’s probably the most unique dormitory around, with a similar style of decor, in a traditional long house. Lao Chai Village, Sapa, Vietnam Book Eco Palms House with our booking partners.
Of the dozens of homestays with local families in and around Sapa, Sali House in Ta Van Village is one of the most popular with travellers. The views of the rice terraces are what most people are here for and they don’t disappoint.
The lodgings are basic but there’s a bohemian vibe with batik wall hangings, tablecloths and bedspreads, a communal kitchen, and shared bathrooms. Ta Van Day 1, Ta Van Village, Sapa, Vietnam Book Sali House with our booking partners.
You can also arrange homestays on longer 2-3 day treks booked with locally owned, social enterprise trekking companies, Sapa Sisters and Sapa O’Chau.
Published 23 July 2017; Last Updated 8 December 2023
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Have you been to Sapa? What’s your pick when it comes to staying in Sapa? Please feel free to share your tips in the comments below.